Cardio and your General Health

Posted by Connie K on

About a week ago, I was blasting out a heavy chest session and after hitting some heavy inclines I felt this weird pain in the middle of my chest. I thought maybe I had strained or inflicted a minor tear. Being the stubborn person that I am, I continued to train. I finished my chest training but I could feel the pain worsening little by little from one exercise to the next. After I got home, I tried to relax and let the pain gradually go away. That night I decided that I’d decided that I’d clean up my diet and try to do cardio until this feeling went away. The feeling wasn’t much better the next day.  The day after that I felt a little better so I said what the heck? I’ll go and try to train some shoulders. I promised myself that I wouldn’t go heavy, so I just stayed in a medium range about 75%. Even after the first set of shoulder pressing, I felt the pain come right back. I only did 3 movements for this workout, one for each head and some cardio. I went home and helped my father do some work as we were renovating a bit at the house. While moving some light doors I felt a big cramping sensation in the middle of my chest. It was only there for maybe a minute max. After that I got really freaked out and decided to see the doctor. She recommended that I go on a low carb, low fat diet and eat mainly greens. If you’re into bodybuilding at all you’ll know that this was a huge blow to me. I decided that I’d go low fat but not low carb. She also recommended that I do between FOUR to FIVE hours of cardio a week!!! I also did some tests for her. When the results came back a week later she said that everything was normal again and that it was probably stress related. Needless to say she still stuck by her recommendations. I’ve been feeling better but I still get a little discomfort in the area.  width= Moral of the story here: I’d neglected cardio for most of my training career. I always thought it was just a waste of time and that I was just stunting my muscular growth by doing this. I was also blessed with a rather fast metabolism so I was always pretty lean. We need to train even the things that we can’t see. Doing cardio is not only good for the heart but it will help your lifting. You’ll often experience faster recovery time between sets without having to gasp for air like an obese person struggling to climb stairs. When I mention cardio I’m not talking about walking on a treadmill to lose some bodyfat, I’m talking about pushing your heart rate up past where it normally would be. Since I am only 24, I aim for the 140s range. This will burn some fat but also burn some muscle. However, you can help minimize that by using some Beast BCAAs intra-workout or pre-cardio. There are also other benefits to cardio, here are just a few:
  • Faster relief from DOMs
  • Improved mood
  • Temporarily increased metabolism
  • Often, more energy or the feeling of refreshment post-cardio
Do yourselves a favour, don’t be like me! Skip the dirty bulking and do your cardio. I’m not saying 4-5 hours a week. I don’t even do that. I’d aim for at least an hour a week for general health purposes. Being healthy should be more of a priority than being big! It’s not the end of the world if you’re not HYOOGE. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” - Winston Churchill    width=Ryan is a business graduate who found his passion in fitness. He’s always on the Internet trying to learn more about bodybuilding, training, and dieting. When he’s not learning, you can find him either in the kitchen preparing a meal, eating, watching the UFC or at the gym trying to break a new PR. Ryan is also a big advocate of social networking websites such as twitter because they allow for people of all social and economical statuses to communicate.